Google Jealousy

Robert Scoble doesn’t seem too happy with the amount of attention that Google is receiving over its hosted e-mail program. Seems that Microsoft is finally getting a taste of its own medicine and is finding it to be rather more bitter than what they’d been used to.

In the past, Microsoft has been the master of adopting existing ideas and pushing them onto users via integration with the windows OS. While the situations are not identical, I would in fact argue that the Microsoft sin is the greater one. In both cases, the two perpetrators are seen to be leveraging some unfair advantage (or at least perceived to be unfair) to push their offerings.

In the Microsoft case, Microsoft has on many occasions “forced” users to adopt their offerings by integrating these with windows (I use the “” because of course users still have the option to download free alternatives though this is now much less likely due to the presence of pre-packaged applications which perform the required function, albeit not perhaps in the most efficient/secure manner). By using this method, Microsoft has been able to greatly increase the market share of products like Internet Explorer and Outlook Express, both of which incorporate arguably inferior technology. For alternatives like Firefox to attract users, their developers need to create products with significant advantages to be able to induce users to download them. As the incumbent, the Microsoft offerings need only be acceptable (and in fact, many would argue that they are barely that).

In contrast, the Gmail-based “hosted” program is riding on Google’s higher “coolness” profile to gain greater publicity and (probably eventually) a larger user base. In a similar way, while the program itself is not an entirely novel concept, it was able to attract a much greater amount of attention simply by virtue of being a Google offering. For once, Microsoft is finding itself in a position where it will actually need to do more work just to compete and be noticed. After being in the comfortable monopolistic position for so long, is it any surprise that a Microsoft employee is now complaining of an unfair playing field?

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1 Comment »

  1. […] One of my long time friend who blogs on Warong Karipuf is blogging about how an Microsoft employee is complaining about the “excessive” attention Google is attracting with its email-hosting service. […]

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